On the 31st of January, 2020 the United
Kingdom officially left the European Union. Starting from, February
1st, 2020, the negotiation dealings with the EU
began.The conservative government's plan arranges withdrawal
from the EU by January 31, 2020, followed by a transition period
until December 31, 2020, during which the future legal tie with the
EU is established to be negotiated in detail.
Articles 54 et seq of the withdrawal agreement also introduce a transition period for European Union IP rights (including trademarks).
Consequently, on condition that the withdrawal agreement is
confirmed, it is to be expected that, in accordance with the
September 24, 2018 and January 17, 2019 publications of the UK
International Property Office (UK IPO), the intended changes will
take place at the end of the anticipated transition period, thus
by December 31, 2020.
Correspondingly, at the end of the transition period, a comparable UK trademark will be built for every registered EU trademark, which will
- be recorded on the UK trade mark register,
- have the same legal status as a trademark under UK law,
- keep the original filing date,
- keep the original priority or UK seniority dates,
- and may be objected, assigned, licensed or renewed separately from the original European Union trademark.
While there will be no requirement to pay for the conversion
itself, no separate registration certificate will be allotted
For EU trademark applications pending on the last day of the transition period, it will be available to demand to register comparable UK trademarks within 9 months, which will also absorb their priority and seniority claims.
Brexit will also have incidental effects on International Registrations (IR trademarks) designating the EU, which were registered prior to the last day of the transition period.
They will be duplicated, at no cost, into comparable UK trademarks keeping the same application/priority and registration dates as the IR trademark. It should be noted that the newly designed trademarks will, then, be a national UK registration and not a UK designation of the IR trademark, meaning that they must be renewed separately from the original International Registration.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.